I was at a retreat last week in which the speaker drew lessons from Luke 5:1-11. The passage is about Jesus’ calling of Peter. I read that passage today and I saw that Peter is an example to us when it comes to being a Christian. Peter demonstrates to us the following.
- We should be open to Christ’s message: When Jesus got into Peter’s boat, he asked Peter to put out a short distance from the shore. Before then the crowd had been pressing in on Jesus and listening to his word as he was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret. Peter by putting out a short distance just as Jesus told him shows that he was open to the message Jesus had. He did not know what Jesus intended to say but he was receptive.
As Christians we are to be open to the Lord’s message to us. We have to listen to him and receive his message.
2.We should be obedient even in the face of hardship: Peter and his partners worked hard all night and caught nothing. They probably would have been disappointed and exhausted. They needed rest. But here comes Jesus, “Put out into the deep water and lower your nets for a catch” (Lk. 5:4). Peter replied, “Master we have worked hard all night and have caught nothing, but at your command I will lower the nets” (Lk. 5:6).
We tend to display devotion to God when life is fair to us. When hardship comes, some of us lose faith and resort to ways that has nothing to do with Christianity. But our faithfulness to God is not tested during the good times but the hard times. Circumstances does not necessarily change us, they reveal who we really are. Our true face is unmasked in hardship.
A faithful Christian obeys God regardless of the difficulty. This attitude is that of trust. In God’s word you find his promises. These promises are converted to guarantees when we obey him. Peter obeyed Christ and lowered his net together with his partners. “When they had done this, they caught a great number of fish and their nets were tearing. They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come to help them. They came and filled both boats so that they were in danger of sinking” (Lk. 5:6-7).
Peter’s obedience reminds me of the obedience of the stewards at the wedding at Cana. When the wine finished, Jesus to their surprise asked them to fill the jars with water. WATER! A typical Lagosian would reply, “See this man o. You well? Which kind play be that?” As if Mary had known, she had given the servants a golden command, “Do whatever he tells you.” The stewards obeyed and they had a miracle. Again obedience adapts God’s promises to guarantees.
You may be in a circumstance right now in which obedience to God seems not be the answer to your situation. You are right there in the position of the stewards who in their wildest imagination did not see water turning into wine. Do whatever God tells you, obey him and your water will turn to wine. Leave the details to God.
3.We should be humble: After the great catch, Peter fell at the knees of Jesus and asked him to depart for he was a sinful man. He displayed that he was not deserving of such a favour. The Lord who uplifts the humble made him the rock upon which the Church was built.
In my opinion, the virtue of humility is the first a Christian should have. It is sad that many of us are losing this virtue. Let us take conscious steps to practice this virtue in our life.
We will never have cause to regret being open to Christ’s message, being obedient to him, and being humble. If you ask me, “Why do you say so?” I will ask you, “Who controls all things?”